In terms of hunting, people primarily associate Texas with whitetails and hogs. However, the population of exotics in Texas makes it very diverse and prime with opportunities for hunters wanting a different experience without having to leave the country to do so. The Lone Star state has some 125 different exotic species and more than 75,000 free ranging exotic animals. Mitch recently spent some time in the Texas hill country with David Morris on a new property he has been improving called the Highveld Ranch. There are of course trophy whitetails on the 5,000-acre property, but there are also plenty of exotics. Mitch and his son happened to be there during the Red Stag roar and were able to capitalize on the opportunity. He talks about the difference between hunting stags and elk and how he and his son were both able to shoot stags. In addition, he discusses his hunt for axis deer and taking two does for meat, plus his son's hunt for an Oryx. Capping it off, he was also able to tag a Mouflon Sheep, a hunt that viewers will get to see on The Bucks of Tecomate in the future. Bringing home a cooler full of meat, Mitch talks about preparing both red stag and oryx tenderloins sous vide. The sous vide cooking method is a great technique for cooking any meat, but particularly wild game, Mitch says. It's a French cooking method that uses water circulation to bring meat up to the perfect temperature and hold it there. It's great, he says, because once it comes out of the water bath it is edge to edge perfectly cooked at the temperature you set. All that is left to do is put it on a hot grill for a quick finish. All wild game should be cooked this way, he says.
Fall is an exciting time for outdoorsmen and women as hunting seasons are well underway. Mitch talks about a programming block on Monday nights called, "Taste of the Wild" that celebrates the adventure of hunting, the joy of the harvest and guides viewers in how to care for, prepare and cook wild game. The special Monday night line-up features "Farming the Wild" with host Mike Robinson, an English restauranter and one of Britain's most prominent game chefs. Mitch says another great show in the line-up is, "Man Eats Wild" with host Mario Kalpou a hardcore adventurer and award-winning restauranteur taking people with him around the globe in his quest to harvest wild food in extreme environments. Also included in the block is fan favorite show, "MeatEater" with host Steven Rinella and "Nick's Wild Ride" hosted by musician, hunter and foodie Nick Hoffman. Mitch says at Outdoor Sportsman Group, across their networks and platforms, they want to help people understand how to enjoy the fruits of their labor by providing information and content on how to take care of and prepare the meat they harvest. They want to be able to show people how to take their wild game meat from field to table and share it with friends and family. The Monday night, "Taste of the Wild" programming block features a lot of content that centers around those ideas.
The focus on hunting for food is a trend that has been steadily growing for years. People are increasingly interested in DIY hunts and hunting for meat, not necessarily antlers. The move away from 200-inch trophy deer is something that has been happening for the last 5 years or so, Mitch says. Of course it's really cool to see people tag huge deer, he notes, but it has become more about ethically shooting mature deer, regardless of antler size. People want to know that the animals being hunted are harvested ethically and being well utilized, he says.
Be sure to check out the complete interview with Mitch Petrie, VP of Programming at Outdoor Sportsman Group. Click play below.